Saturday, December 27, 2014

Settling down

Ah, the glorious weekend after Christmas; I can sleep in and there is no need to cook or feel stressed. One daughter is away visiting her boyfriend's family, and my other daughter is dog sitting, on site until Sunday. My son is preparing for a trip to Pennsylvania to enjoy some winter camping. Thus, I am happily in "hermit" mode with the dogs, surviving on leftovers from the holiday feasting. The house is quiet and I am content to putter about just enjoying the lights on the paper tree, doing a bit of knitting and writing (obviously) without any time constraints or demands. Such luxury! I might even pop a movie into the laptop...

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Oh, Christmas tree...

Here is a pix of the paper tree all decorated. With the invention of cool LED lights we could go all out and even have glowing snowflakes! Ignore the unfinished bathroom. Blessings everyone!

Happy Knitted Gifts!

Now that the gifts have been opened and I won't be spoiling any recipient's surprise, I can reveal the results of the holiday knitting projects. I really enjoyed knitting up the ribbed neck warmers with the charming Laurel Burch cat face button. Of course, I found the buttons first and then had to find a project that would feature them. Happily, a free Ravelry download was the perfect solution, see here The only change I made to the pattern was the buttonhole; which I switched to a one row buttonhole instead of  the scrap yarn buttonhole the pattern designer suggested. Truly, the only reason I made this change was I was clueless as to how to do any other type of buttonhole, so make your own decision when you get to that point. The pattern used approximately a 1/2 skein of worsted weight Berroco Vintage yarn (washable blend) done on a size 9 needle. The stripe is Vintage Colors-Oasis #5222 and the solid is Vintage-Ruby #51181. The the 4 stitch ribbing gave cozy heft, almost a feeling of double thickness when buttoned and the Berroco yarn is comfortably soft on tender necks. Definitely a handy pattern for using up partial balls of yarn and the 22" length makes this a  fairly quick project. I am planning to make a couple more!

I also made two of these double cable hats, one in Forest Green out of  Encore worsted color #0204 and the one pictured here in Berroco Vintage worsted -Indigo #51182. I used size 8 needles and enjoyed the cable shift immensely. Another terrific free Ravelry download see here This hat is mesmerizing to look at, seriously that attractive and uses a little more than half of a 200yd. skein of yarn to cover the wearer's ears.

So here it is, Christmas day and I am without a knitting project... It feels really strange and my hands are restless. I was so anxious trying to finish these projects in time to mail, but now I am missing the pleasure of knitting something pretty & useful. My sister mentioned she would like a headband out of the same Mochi Plus yarn she received a hat in, last Christmas. Hmmm, I do have a ball and a half left; sounds like the perfect cure for restless fingers!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Winter Solstice

Today is the winter solstice for the Northern Hemisphere, and a new moon which is 0% of full. It is dark outside. The sun set here at 4:43pm today, after rising at 7:16am, making today the shortest day of the year, but the longest night. As usual, given my night shift schedule, I missed the sunrise but I am well aware of the moonless dark of this evening. I have lit my bayberry candle to celebrate the season while I continue to work on Christmas projects.

A daughter's boyfriend will be the recipient of this stocking since he has passed the three-year duration mark. I love working with felt and have had a pleasant afternoon appliqueing the cutout felt to a store bought stocking. A crafting purist I am not! My perspective on holiday projects is fairly realistic... okay, well let's just say I have developed an awareness that I can only undertake the basics given the demands of the season. Besides who would say "no thanks" to a cute stocking full of gifts and chocolate?

Friday, December 19, 2014

Tis the season of doggie hardships

 As you can see Emma is somewhat disgusted with the amount of attention last minute holiday knitting projects are consuming. No doggie walks and less hugs and pets, cuz Mom is messing with sticks and string ALL THE TIME! In Emma's little doggie mind, knitting garners as much disgust as when I am on the "box"... known to humans as the laptop computer screen. I have gone from a semester of school on the box, to now having every waking moment focused on messing with boring sticks, sheesh, I don't even throw them for a game of fetch!

I came home from the farm store today with a sack of assorted dog cookies, in hopes of getting into her good graces again :)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Pre-Holiday insanity

I'm back!! I know it has almost been a month since the last post, but you know life is BUSY! I have just about finished my first semester with a full course load at the local state university; there is only one final exam left on Dec.15th. Add in the challenge of physical exertion on my night shift job, and family obligations like oh, meals, paying the electric bill regularly and those pesky, recurring chores like laundry or dish washing (yes, these can be options for as long as you can hold out) I've been a bit tired & overwhelmed.

Christmas is not my favorite holiday, probably because of my job... yep, I am one of those anonymous  workers that  insure the gift you ordered online, makes it onto a delivery truck in time for your holiday celebration. This is always an exhausting season in the shipping business, so I can't decide if it's my age or all the additional activities I have undertaken that are adding to my fatigue. Probably a little of both in all honesty.

This year we will be putting up a paper tree for our Christmas. This is an emergency alternative when a stressed family cannot find the time to purchase and decorate a real tree. We did this about eight years ago during a family crisis; it was so successful and fondly remembered, it will be resurrected this holiday season. I will do another post so you can all see the result.

Oh, and I forgot to mention the holiday knitting projects... I am a fool to even consider any projects but three are underway. I've been knitting to my favorite online endless loop ,the forever burning yule log; add a favorite music selection like Chopin or the Icelandic group Asgeir Trausti while sitting on a heating pad and it almost seems real. Hope to include these knitting projects in my next post too. Fingers crossed.